Week 77 – Legend.

typewriterThere is only one subject that I could write about for this posting, the heart-breaking news this week of the death of the legend that was Muhammad Ali. Life can be cruel and ironic by reducing a giant to frailty. However, his memory and legacy are as powerful as anything that he ever achieved. His skill, bravery and humanity have all been superbly documented by the world’s press over the last few days.

My strongest memory of him was when he won the title for the third time against Spinks in 1978. I was lying on the couch getting over the flu, eating a Doubledecker Chocolate Bar and sipping a can of ginger. I had watched the first fight and was confident that he would win. There was a romance about a third title that he was destined for. I knew that he was past his best but it didn’t matter. To watch that achievement was something that I will always remember and from there I began to learn more about the man than the sport.

I just wanted to explore the difference between a man of charisma and a man of arrogance. Ali was charismatic. Lets take for the sake of an argument, Kanye West. He is arrogant. In fact we have a name for him in Scotland and that is ‘Fud’. That is the name of a lady’s lady-parts.

Ali was over confident as is West. But Ali was endearing and made you smile. The Kanye person makes you want to legalise family genocide and wipe out his bloodline.

Ali stated that he was ‘The Greatest’ and was. West claims to be the greatest music artist on the planet and he isn’t.

Ali stood up for social issues. Kanye stands up for social media.

A President wanted to be Muhammad Ali. West wants to be a President.

Ali’s poetry was terrible but endearing. West’s rapping is terrible but terrible.

Muhammad Ali, was, is and always will be a legend!

Kanye West, was, is and always will be a Fud!

To emphasise his legend status, check out any clip on Ali.

To emphasise his general Fudness, please check out Mr Kanye’s cringe worthy attempt to sing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Another legend in Mr Mercury has elbow burns due to spinning in his grave.

It is just a pity Ali wasn’t in his hey-day and got a punch at Kanye.

Onto our stories. We had three new authors this week and we would like to welcome Anne Carney, Paul Thompson and Suzanne Murphy, we are happy to have you on board ladies and gentleman.

This is getting a bit structured as well, but this is a good thing as yet again we have multiple topics from friendship to loss, to longing, to repression and to Banshees!!

For the few of you who read this, you know the script regarding our comments and for the thousand others, well it doesn’t really matter!!

It was Paul who got us started on Monday with his short story ‘Lift’

‘He twists the end and we are left wondering who she really is and why she is that way.’

‘I really enjoyed reading this.’

‘I enjoyed this and was happy to see where it was going.’

On Tuesday we had the unique Mr Adam Kluger with his offering of ‘Better Living Through Better Chemistry.’

‘With this you need an experience of holding back anger and living with it.’

‘Compelling.’

‘Interesting to read the triggers that he got over, only to explode due to queueing.’

Wednesday came next and it was Anne Carney’s turn with the very emotional ‘A Thin Blue Line’.

‘Heartbreaking. Brilliant observations.’

‘Really well done.’

‘This was full of hope, despair and tragedy, the way that it should be.’

Now if she is reading this, it isn’t the 6th of September, it is the 9th of June and it was a privilege for us to publish Suzanne Murphy’s story, ‘The Banshee’s Bargain’ on Thursday.

‘Well written and the twist at the end was pretty good.’

‘This had a bit of style.’

‘An interesting take and twist on a well known tale.’

A Friday is always special, especially when we have Leila Allison as our last author of the week with ‘God’s Secret Name’.

‘The love between the characters is never really mentioned or overdone, it is just there and obvious and touching and a joy to read.’

‘I am very attached to these characters.’

‘This was a privilege to read.’

That’s us for this week folks. It has been sad and we can only hope that Muhammad Ali is smiling, healthy and is now where he would have wanted to be. I’ll give the last words on the matter over to Elizabeth Eveleigh (we can neither confirm nor deny if she is the mother of one of our favourite Welsh editors) and her Haiku entitled simply, The Greatest.

From Clay to Ali
Loud. Proud. Handsome. Principled.
Greatest. Rest in Peace.

And a final thought inspired by Leila’s title…I hope that God’s secret name is Kanye and if we say it three times he will be uncreated.

Hugh

Banner Image: By Mark Pellegrini (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

9 thoughts on “Week 77 – Legend.

  1. He’s dead, so people forget the negatives. He gave up one mythology for another. Brave yes, smart, not so much. He is known for extramarital women. As good as he was, we’ll never know how he would have handled Lennox Lewis or either Klitscko (sp?), Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano.

    He fought for too long at his own peril. His ego played a part in his downfall.

    Somebody may even say good things about George Bush when he dies, but it is hard to imagine.

    Kanye West is the epitome of media over reality, no question.

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    • Hi Doug,
      Thanks so much for your time and comments.
      Opinions on legends can also make legends of opinions. It is all relative to the love / hate that the individual feels. Opinion, individuality, preference and debate can only be good for all of us.
      Thanks again my friend for your thoughts!
      Hugh

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  2. In the great documentary, When We were Kings, which was shot in the then Zaire in 1974, and features not only the Ali-Foreman fight, but events leading up to it, Ali had passed comment on the dignity that the Africans showed in their poverty. Even though he had grown up in poverty himself, he was humbled by the courage of the natives. This was telling of the man. He never showed self pity, even though he had cause, nor did he ever lose his integrity. Moreover, he was funny as hell. Just go online and search for him lamenting (semi-jokingly) over how ice cream parlors always put the scoop of vanilla on top of the scoop of chocolate. We won’t see such a blithe and substantial spirit come our way again any time soon.
    L. Allison

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  3. Of all the great public figures best identified with the 20th Century, Ali is the most human. Whether it be his being humbled by the grace that the Africans displayed in their poverty during the making of “When We Were Kings” (even though he had grown up in poverty himself), or his absolutely priceless exchanges with Howard Cosell, he is the only legendary figure from his era who resists that terrible pop-culture taxidermy job that has befallen the likes of Elvis or Marilyn Monroe. It’s a damn shame that such a blithe yet substantial spirit was robbed of his tongue so early. Still, I encourage you to go online and dig up a byte of his in which he laments how ice cream parlors always put the vanilla scoop on top of the chocolate scoop. Like the man, it’s absolutely wonderful.
    JC Freeman (in Ali’s honor, I temporarily eschew my alias)

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